State School Boards Nix Membership With National Group As House GOP Demands Garland Withdraw Memo To Investigate Parents

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Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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State school board associations are distancing themselves from the National School Board Association (NSBA) after it apologized for sending a letter comparing parents’ action to “domestic terrorism” and requesting federal intervention.

Republican lawmakers are calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to withdraw his memorandum that upheld the requests of the letter.

The Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) terminated its membership and affiliation with the NSBA on Oct. 25 stating that it was “a direct result” of the national organization’s letter sent to President Joe Biden. The OSBA’s termination was addressed to NSBA CEO Chip Slaven and President Viola Garcia, the duo that published the letter to Biden without the organization’s board approval.

“The [NSBA] letter purported to be sent on behalf of state associations and school board members across the nation,” the OSBA said. “This assertion could not be further from the truth.”

The Ohio association said that it “strongly disagreed with NSBA’s decision to request federal intervention as well as [its] claims of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” The OSBA letter concluded that the NSBA is “out of touch” with “the concerns of local school boards and the principle of local control.”

A slew of state school board associations have condemned the NSBA’s letter since its publication on Sept. 29. According to a list compiled by the group Parents Defending Education, state school board associations in Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming condemned the letter.

States such as Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama are in the process of “reevaluating the benefits” of membership in the NSBA, despite the national school board’s apology. (RELATED: National School Board Walks Better Letter Comparing Parents To ‘Domestic Terrorists’ After Bombshell Emails Exposed White House Collaboration)

Emails obtained by Parents Defending Education uncovered that the NSBA was in communication with the White House “several weeks” before the controversial letter dropped. The White House requested information on “specific threats” taking place across the country.

Republican members of Congress have since questioned Attorney General Merrick Garland — who issued a directive to investigate allegedly unruly parents — whether he knew about the letter before it was sent to the White House.

Eight Republican House members are now demanding that Garland “fully and unequivocally” withdraw his “troubling” directive to sic the FBI on concerned parents.

“Parents have an undisputed right to direct the upbringing and education of their children, especially as school boards attempt to install controversial curricula,” the letter reads. “Local law enforcement — and not the FBI — are the appropriate authorities to address any local threats of violence.”